Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Useful Websites for Writers

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the Fleisch-Kincaid tool for assessing the reading level and readability of a book/article. I've discovered another wonderful tool for doing that and much more: Renaissance Learning ( Accelerated Reader BookFinder at This tool helps you find the word count, page count, ISBN number, publisher, publication year, reading grade level, themes in the book, and more. Go to Renaissance Leaning's  Products page, click on AR BookFinder, and check the appropriate box (parent, teacher, etc.), which will take you to a page where you can type in the book's title, or name of the author, or book's theme. Clicking on the question marks brings up explanations of the assessment levels. Clicking on the image brings up the full details about the book. 

Below, I list a few useful websites for writers, some specifically for children's writers. To say that online resources for writers are vast is an understatement. My starter list doesn't even cover the tip of the tiny lump of ice on the top of the iceberg. I'll add to this list over the coming weeks and give it its own page on this blog site. I welcome your additions. Future blogs will describe resources for specific topics and problems of interest to children's writers and buyers of children's books..

Rachelle Burk offers an astonishingly huge listing of resources on everything you ever wanted to know.
The Institute of Chidlren’s Literature offers writing courses, online writers forum, articles
on various topics, and a newsletter with writing advice and publishing news.
Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating blog (“Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children”) lists helpful sites, a blogroll, and author sites.
Mary Andrews’s website lists a plethora of resources for writers.
Martina Boone, Lisa Gail Green, and Jan Lewis offer helpful articles on various topics.
Verla Kay’s site offers the marvelous Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Chat Board.
Robert Kent’s website is a treasure trove of interviews with literary agents.
Literary agent Maria Lamba offers practical advice for writers.
Casey McCormick’s Literary Rambles blog spot offers a treasure trove of interviews with literary agents.

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s website, “dedicated to helping writers via descriptive tools, knowledge sharing, and support,” has an interesting niche: thesauruses of character traits, physical attributes, emotions. Ackerman and Puglisi authored The Emotion Thesaurus. 
Literary agent Janet Reid critiques query letters - a golden opportunity for writers.
Literary agent Nathan Bransford writes a series of articles on practical topics and lists resources.
Literary agent Mary Kole offers a treasure trove of useful websites for writers. She is the author of Writing Irresistible Kidlit (“The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction”).
Elizabeth Kennedy's pages on offer a wealth of information and you can sign up for her newsletter.
This literary agency’s website offers a Writer’s Toolbox that lists a handful of articles on writing and a short list of websites helpful to writers.
The Scriptorium Webzine offers an interesting list of books on various aspects of writing and a few articles on writing.
Absolute Write has a useful list of writers' resources including literary agents who blog.
Writer Beware – essential information on literary scams, including publishers and contests
You can subscribe to receive blog updates via e-mail.

Predators and Editors offers essential information on literary scams.

Karen Cioffi offers SEO and other technology tips.

Jacketflap offers a huge list of publishers and a database of authors and other people in the book publishing industry, also an opportunity to showcase your work as an author..
Media Bistro offers reviews, writer resources, publishing industry news.
Good Reads is worthwhile joining. For MG writers: Great Middle Grade Reads. (Go to the Groups page and type in the name of the group.)
Publishers Weekly provides children’s book industry news.
This is Lee Wind’s official blog of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Kim Norman’s School Visit & Author Blog offers great advice for authors visiting schools.
Nate Hoffelder's great blog site is about the e-book industry with tips, gadget reviews, and other resources.

Children's Writers’ Social Media Groups
Children & Youth  Writers_and Authors
Children’s Writers and Illustrators

Children’s Books
Children’s Media
Children’s Publishing
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Children’s Authors and Illustrators

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Lots of help for children’s writers who become members of this worldwide organization


  1. What a wonderful resource this blog is. I think I'm going to lose hours going through all this information:)

  2. Wow - what a fabulous list you have provided here. I will look into many of these - Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much for putting together such a list of resources. I am just getting into children's publishing, so I will use your information a lot!

  4. Thanks Maggie. Knew about a lot of these, but there is so much out there!

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